DJ Quik Tells All: The Stories Behind his Classic Records

Snoop Dogg f/ DJ Quik, Mausberg & Warren G "Don't Tell" (1999)

Producer: DJ Quik
Album: No Limit Top Dogg
Label: Doggystyle/No Limit/Priority

DJ Quik: “Warren G inspired that record. Snoop called me—I had always wanted to work with Snoopy. And I think me being a Blood—just because of how much of a Crip he was and how much of a Blood I was—I was just a little leery. I thought he wouldn't want to fuck with me.

"But when he's like, 'Yeah, cool,' I put the gang shit aside, what my background was. Went out to his crib and started woodshedding with him, building beats, took my equipment and we start smoking and we just started grooving.

"In some ways we're a lot alike. We love soul music, we love 808 drums, and we love that gangsta shit. It's pretty much what it was. I introduced him to Suga Free, who was an artist of Tony Lane's.

"Mausberg, who was another artist of Tony Lane's. He fucked with them. He helped them get on. Put them on his record, gave them full blast, gave them a couple of bucks and shit. I was like, 'Wow. Get down, Snoop.'

“But that's Jewell, with her good-singing ass on the hook. That's a fine motherfucking woman too. She was as much responsible for the G-Funk era sound as Nate Dogg was and Warren was.

"That was pretty much an ode to G-Funk. I love that record, it's all syrupy. It's funny, my music now isn't that syrupy. My music now ain't that pretty, because one really popular guy told me recently—well, he's not really popular, but he was part of a major group on the West Coast scene back in the '80s—but he told me, 'You're a great producer, you're one of my favorite producers. But your music is too pretty. That's the problem, that's what holds you back, that's what keeps you from blowing up.' I'm like, 'Hey, I can accept that. That's your opinion, I love it.' And then I started doing even prettier records. [Laughs.] Like 'Fuck you!'

"In reality, that was a pretty record. Like the arrangement of it, just the way it felt, kind of like those Blue Note records, trumpety, synthesizers and shit, the Ark Odyssey sound. Just a real smooth—could have been jazz, could have been 94.7 The Wave kind of music. But Snoop and them put the edge on it. It fit Snoop's voice like a leather jacket fits me.”

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